Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Your Ticket to a Rewarding Career; A British Examination Body Offers a Range of Qualifications to Help Students Launch a Career in the Hospitality Sector. by Sarah Richardson

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Your Ticket to a Rewarding Career; A British Examination Body Offers a Range of Qualifications to Help Students Launch a Career in the Hospitality Sector. by Sarah Richardson

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Richardson

[bar] OR students leaving school and college this summer, enrolling on an academic course at university is far from the only option available to them.

The Organisation for Tourism and Hospitality Management (OTHM) is urging those with GCSEs, A-levels or other appropriate qualifications to seriously consider working in their sector -- and is offering a range of recognised vocational qualifications to help them launch their careers.

According to VisitBritain, tourism is Britain's fifth largest industry, our third largest export earner and worth around [pounds sterling]115 billion a year.

It employs around 2.6 million people and supports more than 200,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Overseas visitors contribute [pounds sterling]3 billion to the Treasury every year.

OTHM is a British professional membership and examination body offering both local and overseas students the opportunity to gain certification, relevant work experience and a "top-up" to either a BA (Hons) or MSc in tourism and hospitality management.

Acknowledging that the industry is now broader and more complex than ever before and that the tourism and hospitality sectors are increasingly intertwined, OTHM certificates and diplomas are recognised by employers as "stand alone" qualifications.

Students can apply to any UK university that has a leisure and tourism department for the "top-up" facility.

Tim Murari, OTHM's CEO and director of marketing and planning, says: "Organisations seek individuals that have relevant work experience and certification to work across the industry or at least understand the workings of the industry as a whole. Thomas Cook, for example, is not just a tour operator but also has invested in its own aircraft fleet as well as resort accommodation and travel agencies.

"Virgin not only operates an airline but also has trains, tour operations and owns accommodation.

"Students with A-levels or holders of GCSEs/O-levels aged over 18 should consider the OTHM professional qualification route as an alternative to joining a university. They will not only benefit from a work placement, certification every six months and a professional qualification, but also a study fee structure that saves both time and money -- particularly as university tuition fees rise. …

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